Government spending on infrastructure is a way of boosting productivity, and cultivating longer-term economic growth and community wellbeing. Low commodity prices and a generally slowing economy has seen infrastructure spending drop in recent years, prompting a national debate about better ways to finance infrastructure and target limited funds to get the most bang for our buck.
The bulk of the infrastructure spend in 2014, in both the Federal and Queensland budgets, went on roads. While efficient transport is important, this should not be at the expense of other critical infrastructure that allows cities, towns and small communities to work.
In this submission to the Queensland Infrastructure Plan QCOSS provides a starting point for discussions and exploration of ways to get a better link between public expenditure on infrastructure and social outcomes.
The best and most useful social and economic infrastructure investments will be based on a networked approach, with consideration of broad social impacts and uses, and complementary investments that improve the return to each individual investment. Having well-accepted measures for establishing needs and outcomes will be critical to making a case.
Involving the not-for-profit sector in selection and delivery of infrastructure will ensure more efficient operations, and assets that are rooted in community needs and aspirations.
Read the QCOSS submission